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US Church Dumps 'Negative' Nazi Imagery


The United Church of YHWH, an anti-Semitic church formed by white supremacists, has abandoned its neo-Nazi imagery, such as swastikas, Nazi uniforms and armbands, noting that the symbols are considered 'negative' by those who might otherwise be open to their teachings.

One of the fundamental beliefs of the church, which is located in eastern Alabama, is that white Anglo-Saxons are the chosen people in the Torah, not the Jewish people. The head pastor of the church was formerly involved in the Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi organization in the U.S. The church has ties in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Israel Lowers Expectations for Peace Deal by End of 2008

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

There were high hopes for peace in the Middle East after last week's summit in Annapolis, Md. but now, the mood is not as optimistic.

The Annapolis conference set a goal of reaching a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of next year. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is lowering expectations.

Olmert told the Cabinet that that while Israel will make every effort to hold speedy negotiations, there is no commitment to a firm timetable. He said there could be no peace agreement until the Palestinians carry out their commitments under the internationally-backed "Road Map" peace plan and crack down on terrorist groups.

But Cabinet Minister Rafi Eitan doubts Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will do that. Eitan said he expects Palestinian terror to continue for decades.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said his side is ready to keep its commitments under the Road Map. And with regard to reaching a peace agreement by the end of next year, he said, "where there is a will, there is a way. And I hope that our leaders will take the decisions required to achieve the historic treaty that is needed for Palestinians and Israelis in order to establish the two-state solution."

And in a goodwill gesture to Abbas, Israel plans to release 429 Palestinian security prisoners on Monday.

In a related story, the three terrorists who were arrested for the murder of Ido Zoldan were Palestinian Authority policemen. The terrorists shot and killed Zoldan in a drive-by attack with weapons that they received from Israel in order to fight terrorism in Judea and Samaria.

Shortly after the fatal attack, Olmert announced that he planned to allow nearby PA forces in Shechem to import 25 armored vehicles, 1,000 guns and two million bullets.

Study: U.S., Israel Should Plan Iran Strike

By Ha'aretz

Israel and the United States should begin an intense dialogue on ways to deal with Iran's nuclear plans and should study ways to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, a new study states.

The report, by a former deputy head of the National Security Council, Chuck Freilich, said Israel and the U.S. should discuss nuclear-crisis scenarios between Israel and Iran. The report, entitled "Speaking about the Unspeakable," was released over the weekend by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Advertisement

Freilich assumes that detailed talks between the U.S. and Israel on Iran do not extend beyond exchanges of intelligence, coordination of diplomatic moves and the supply of sophisticated weapons to Israel.

According to Freilich, a lack of symmetry exists between the U.S. and Israel on the Iranian threat, although both use similar rhetoric toward it. From Israel's perspective, Iran presents a potential existential threat, so its nuclear plans must be stopped at almost any price. In contrast, the U.S. is disturbed by the implications of nuclear weapons in Iran but does not see it as an existential threat.

In Freilich's view, this difference in evaluations dictates the nature of the dialogue. The U.S. is leery about talks with Israel on military action against Iran, and Israel is concerned about talks on security alternatives if Iran's nuclear status is accepted.

Freilich listed the alternatives; he believes that diplomacy and sanctions have a slim chance of success. He mentioned a quasi-military alternative such as a naval blockade or secret sabotage action, an Israeli or American military action, or coming to terms with a nuclear Iran, with the U.S. giving security assurances to Israel. He opposes the proposal that Israel move to an open nuclear policy to deter Iran.

Freilich said Israel would prefer that the U.S. attack Iran. He notes that if Israel believes it can successfully attack Iran, Israel fears that the U.S. would veto the plan, so Israel would not unveil the scheme ahead of time. The U.S. would also keep secret from Israel any intention of attacking Iran.

Freilich believes that despite these mutual reservations, detailed discussions between the U.S. and Israel should be held on possible military action against Iran because of the need to separate forces if Israel attacks Iran and U.S. forces are in the way. In addition, Iran in any case would see the U.S. and Israel as cooperating and would respond against both.

Freilich proposes a dialogue on Iran's possible responses, on terror attacks and the disruption of oil shipments from the Gulf to the West. But he also seeks a dialogue on how to live with a nuclear Iran.

Temple Institute: High Priest's Crown is Ready!


The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the completion of the Tzitz, the High Priest's headplate - now ready for use in the Holy Temple.

The tzitz is made of pure gold, was fashioned over the course of a more than a year by the craftsmen of the Temple Institute, and is ready to be worn by the High Priest in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The words "Holy for G-d" are engraved on the headplate, in accordance with Exodus 28:36.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute, explained to Arutz-7 that until it can actually be used, the tzitz will be on view in the Institute's permanent exhibition display, together with other vessels and priestly garments fashioned for use in the Holy Temple by the Institute.

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, director of the Institute, explained to Arutz-7 some of the Halakhic [Jewish legal] aspects of the fashioning of the vessels for the Temple. "For one thing," he said, "they are made in impurity - for now we are impure, and will remain impure until we are able to have a Red Heifer whose ashes can be used in the Torah-prescribed purification ceremony. If no Red Heifer is available, then the High Priest must even serve in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur in a state of impurity."

Asked whether the fact that the vessels are dedicated for the Temple does not render them hekdesh (consecrated) and therefore forbidden for any other use, Ariel explained, "There are two stages. First of all, we make it very clear to the donors and to the craftsmen that the ultimate purpose of these vessels is not to be used for exhibitions or the like, but rather for the fulfillment of Torah commandments in the Holy Temple. They must know this in advance.

"However, to gain the actual status of hekdesh, we similarly make it clear that this does not happen until the vessel is actually brought in to the Temple Mount for use in the Temple. This means that someone can try on and measure the headplate, for example, without worrying that he is benefiting in any way from something that has been consecrated to the Temple."

Richman noted that in less than two weeks, on Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the famous Menorah (candelabrum) - suitable for use in the Holy Temple, familiar to visitors to the Cardo section of the Old City of Jerusalem - will be relocated to the landing of the wide staircase that leads down from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall. It will be protected inside the same type of glass structure that now houses it.

The new tzitz is an improvement on one made several years ago, in that it has a backpiece, in accordance with some commentators and the account of Josephus. In addition, it has a locking mechanism so that it will not slip off the Priest's head, and can be adjusted to fit heads of different sizes. The old one will be preserved, of course as a "spare," in keeping with the Mishnaic account that several models of various vessels were kept in the Temple, in case the need arose to replace one.

Asked what project they're working on at present, Richman said, "We have begun work on 120 sets of garments for 'regular' priests, not the High Priest. This involves special thread from India, etc. In addition, we have begun work on architectural blueprints for the Third Temple, including cost projection, modern supplies, electricity, plumbing, computers, etc.

"At present," Rabbi Richman explained, "people are in despair, and wonder if we're not dreaming futilely while around us our leaders are planning to give the country away. We say to them: It appears that those who went to Annapolis are the dreamers, thinking that their efforts to make peace will succeed, or that the public is with them in their efforts to give away our Jerusalem, our Temple Mount, and other national historic assets.

"We are now approaching the holiday of Chanukah," Richman continued, "which is the holiday that commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. We're not just building beautiful vessels; we're interested in granting God the dwelling place that He wants in this world; the Temple is not merely a building, but a way of bringing God into our lives in a very real way. And that is what we aim to do. This tzitz is God's Chanukah present to us, and our Chanukah gift to the Jewish People."

Putin Wins Big in Be'er Sheva


Thousands of Israelis with Russian citizenship made their way Sunday to 11 polling stations across the country to cast their vote in the elections for a new State Duma, Russia's lower parliament.

Most of those who voted in the Negev's capital Be'er Sheva were retired citizens who immigrated to Israel in the past 10 years and hold dual citizenship. "More people have come to vote this time than in previous elections," Be'er Sheva election committee chairman Valery Nazrov said. "Over 500 people showed up by noontime, and we expect hundreds more."

The majority of Russians who waited in line said they would vote for President Vladimir Putin's party. "He is a strong man who will rule Russia with a strong hand," one immigrant said. "He was the one who led Russia to where it is today." According to exit polls published Sunday evening, Putin's party won more than 60 percent of the vote.

Eva Lidvaneskia, told Ynet that "Russia would have been even stronger today had Putin come to power earlier." However, a small number of the immigrants who arrived at the polling station said they would not vote for Putin's party, citing the president's 'undemocratic behavior.'

"I'm voting for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, because Putin's actions have not been democratic enough and his methods are not acceptable," Raisa Virtzov said. "They tell us these stories here of how great Russia is now, but those who live there know that the situation is not as good as the media makes it out to be."

U.S. Holocaust Museum to have Public Access to ITS Records This Month


The U.S. Holocaust Museum (USHMM) plans to accept inquiries regarding the collection of Holocaust-related records of the International Tracing Service this month, perhaps as early as December 3.

What USHMM currently has is part of the record collection of ITS plus the entire Central Names Index (CNI) of 50 million digitized index cards providing information about 17 million people. These cards place an individual in a specific place at a specific time. The balance of the record collection will be given to USHMM and other repositories, such as Yad Vashem, over the next two years.

In most cases, genealogists will find the information contained on the Central Names Index to be adequate and the actual document from which it is derived to be more of historical interest. This is because most of the information on the source document about a specific individual was transcribed onto the index card. I have placed on the Internet sample index cards at They include sample cards of deportations, deaths, refugees, inquiries, etc.

People will be requested to fill out a form that will be available at the USHMM website and other means. In theory, USHMM will be willing to make any reasonable search, and if there are results, they will provide the inquirer with copies of the original source documents. This may be a long-term goal, because it is guaranteed that USHMM will be swamped with requests in the short term.

The Museum will allow people to come to their facility in Washington, DC, and do searches of the Central Names Index by themselves. This may be necessary for those who want to browse the index to do searches that are unreasonable requests (for example, would occupy too much time of a member of the USHMM staff), generic searches or those that do not want to wait for a response from the museum.

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